My kinsman, major molineux

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2008

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Nathaniel Hawthorne's story, "My Kinsman, Major Molineux", is set shortly before the American Revolution. The main character is a young man, Robin, who is traveling to the city to 'rise in the world', with the help of his uncle. Robin's journey into the city takes place at night, and Robin immediately seeks his kinsman by asking some of the residents. The story develops the events that lead Robin to discover why he is treated with such hostility when he asks directions to his uncle's home. Through his descriptive imagery concerning Robin's environment, his lack of informed judgement, and his subsequent awakening, Hawthorne makes the theme of "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" painfully obvious to the reader.

        Nathaniel Hawthorne uses great detail and references to sight, to create the night journey that Robin travels upon. He immediately uses the descriptions of Robin to create an image of a boy who is in an environment foreign to him.

Robin is dressed in common country dress, which makes him appear as though he has never left the safety of his farm. Hawthorne begins to make references to sight imagery, such as, 'with an eager eye', and 'scrutinizes the small and mean wooden buildings'. Robin begins to use sight as a method of guidance, and tries to find the way to his uncle's dwelling through sight observation. Robin attempts to find his uncle's house by analyzing the exteriors of the houses on the streets. He uses the appearance of the houses to judge if the house is prestigious enough to be his uncle's home. Once Robin fails to find his uncle's house, he walks slowly down the street hoping to recognize his uncle as those who are passing by. Robin's foolish attempts to locate his uncle begin to make the theme of the story very...